Our Journey on Scolamanzi II
Our Journey on Scolamanzi II

The Crossing to Yakutat where we got stuck for 6 days!


9-15th Aug 2016

After waiting for a weather window for 5 days we finally got our change to get out of Seward. There was a 35 knot gale blowing the previous day so we were left with 3 meter swells and sloppy seas but thankfully little wind.

During the night and the next day, the sea slowly calmed down with the wind remaining light. Unfortunately, the forecast further south was turning against us and we decided to find shelter in Yakutat.  It turned out to be a wise decision for during the following 6 days we had two 35 knot gales that came through and the wind never dropped below 25 knots with 3 meter plus waves.

We arrived at the entrance to Yakutat bay in pitch dark at 1am with a 6 ft swell from the stern and heavy horizontal rain. Thankfully our state of the art navigations equipment and a very competent captain, guided us through the reefs guarding the entrance to the bay. Our night vision equipment came in very handy and worked surprisingly well even in rainy weather.

That morning the sky was clear and we had a lovely view of the massive mountain range inland from Yakutat Fiord. That was the last and only sight of them for the rest of our stay. If we were not that tired, it would have been a great time to explore the majestic Hubbard Glacier. The poor visibly and constant rain in the days following void that plan for us.

Although Yakutat harbour is very basic, it provided excellent shelter. The town of 330 people, as expected did not offer much. No phone reception was available to us and it took a walk of 3km in full weatherproof gear to the Glass Door Pub which had very slow Wi-Fi available. We appreciated the daily weather downloads to check for a suitable window to get further south.

To prevent cabin fever we hired a car for 3 days and explored every single road around landlocked Yakutat. (By the way, the 3-day car rental cost us more than the 6 days at the dock). The one road actually goes for 32 miles and the stops after crossing a huge bridge over the Dangerous River. For our 6 day stay in Yakutat, it rained more than an inch per day and some days 2 inches. Yakutat has the highest rainfall in Alaska with more than 155 inches or around 4 meters (3.935 meters to be exact) per year! 300% more than the average of the USA. No matter how you look at it, it is a massive amount of rain!


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